Chicon 2000

SF - Proudly Pop Culture

Rev. 28-Jun-1998

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by Bob Eggleton

Recently, I have been seeing more and more of "factioning" in SF... that is people who seem to be swearing by books and dislike media, comics, gaming cards and other forms the imagination takes...

I like movies and I like books. I like comics, fantasy, horror, the occult and aspects of the paranormal. And I proudly watch TV. Yet more and more movies get vilified by the literary side... I have seen a host of entertaining films, many of which end up trashed by some member of the literary intelligencia.

Ben Bova, our Writer GoH correctly stated recently that "movies were made to sell tickets", with some disdain. As if we should expect more. And Ben is right. Hollywood loves to make thrill rides that sell tickets and make money. Most authors love to write books that sell and make them money. Artists like to paint pictures (sometimes for the covers to those author's books and sell the book!) that sell. It's all pop culture, this thing we call SF. Whether we are remembered in a 100 years, only time will tell. You can't plan that. It is said "Time can make a legend out of nothing". In fact, I think I said it.

Whether SF is taken seriously as art, literature or history... so what? The point is to have fun doing it. Salvadore Dali did his classic "Persistence of Memory" based on his love of his favorite cheese. A lot of "art" people were shocked by this. So what??? Room temperature cheese can look a lot like a melting clock. The meaning comes from the perspective of the viewer, what the viewer reads into what may just be ambiguous thoughts to the creator of the book/ art/movie.

People often ask me about my fetishes for Godzilla and the 70's group ABBA and other oddities... I don't have to have a reason or a meaning. I just like them. If you want me to invent one, I will. In my upcoming Book of the Sea Monsters, I have been asked if I believe in sea monsters, Nessie, et al... whether I do or not (I'm not telling) doesn't take away from the fact I had a good time doing it. Screw the critics. Those that can't do, criticize, so I say.

When you read a book, it is a private thing. It's you and the book and how you interpret things. And you can speed read, or like me, take weeks and weeks to really read the book. Movies are a different thing; they are an entertainment experience. We have two hours (or sometimes of late, three hours) to drop in and experience a film. Whether you come out having found the meaning of life or just had a fun trip... is up to you. You have time to think and, after you have thought so hard, maybe you want to take a break from thinking: watch Starship Troopers -- it's fun. (Okay, okay, it ain't the book... but you can't have it all!)

So, I suggest, lighten up. Life's too short to be too intense!!!

The Year 2000 is coming -- let's party like it's 1999!

Previous: Top Ten SF Films
(Table of Contents) Next: Buck Coulson - 1928-1999

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